Monday, November 10, 2014

Let's Talk With a Darling Woman

This week, Wild Women Authors welcomes author Andrea Downing and Emily Darling, heroine from Dearest Darling, a new release out of the Love Letters series for the Wild Rose Press' historical romance line. Welcome Andrea and Emily who is up first. May I first say thank you so much for having me here today; I appreciate the opportunity to talk about, you know, my ‘story.’
And we are just as pleased to have you. Tell us a bit about yourself, Emily. Where are you from? New York, New York—originally. Now I live in Wyoming.
Tell us a bit about Dearest Darling. I was living with my brother—as his housekeeper, actually—under his thumb, to put it bluntly, because I was penniless. So, when this beautifully written love letter arrived along with a packet of tickets meant for someone else—and, of course, I couldn’t read the address due to the rain smudges, so there was no way of sending them on—well, you’ll understand that I just had to take those tickets and use them. I mean, what would be the purpose of returning the tickets to the sender or trying to find this woman for whom they were meant? It was destined to happen! Honest…
A clever plot ploy to work with the premise for the Love Letters series. Tell us about Daniel Saunders, the hero of this delightful story. What did you think the first time you saw him? You might say I was in a state of confusion. First of all, I was thoroughly exhausted from that long trip from New York to Wyoming—first the lengthy train journey and then that horrid stagecoach up from Cheyenne. Daniel wasn’t expecting me, so he was pretty disgruntled, and he had just come in from the ranch so was smelly and filthy. It wasn’t a good first impression at all!
Not the most sterling beginning to any relationship. Your second thought? Oh, dear; do I have to say in public? I mean, I had read his beautiful love letter to Ethel Darton and it went straight to my heart. Then, when Daniel managed to tidy himself up a bit and stood there with the light in the window, it just gave me palpitations.
Very nice description! Did you think it was love at first sight? Uh, well, it was more love at first read, I guess!
Good one. What do you like most about him? He’s exceedingly kind and considerate. I mean, he could have left me there in Jackson when I got off the stage, but he knew I didn’t have 2 bits to my name. And before you get any thoughts on that, let me add he behaved like a perfect gentleman. Unfortunately… Well, for a while…
Another zinger. How would you describe Daniel? He has lovely eyes that seem to look right through you, thick brownish hair you just want to reach up and run your fingers in, and he’s tall and well built, though a bit slender with it. I mean, I’m not very good at this sort of thing, but he certainly appeals to me.
Wow. How would he describe you? I guess he’d say I was petite and blonde?
What made you choose housekeeping as a career? Sweet ladies, I didn’t have a choice! If you’re a well bred young woman in the 1890s, you’re expected to marry, and that’s about the sum of it. Housekeeping for my brother was about all I could do.
That's the first time either Kat or I has ever been called sweet—and with our employment history, we've been called a lot of things. Thank you, Emily. What is your biggest fear? Being sent back to New York, of course!
Enough to send chills up one's spine. So, how do you relax? I guess reading and sewing. Now I’ve learned how to ride, I love that, but at the moment Daniel doesn’t permit me.
Good feed in for our next question: Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Difficult question, that. I love a number of books, but mostly I’m thinking I hated The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Hmm. Interesting response. One to ponder for future use. Thanks for that one, also. Last one: What is the best piece of advice you ever received? I guess it’s “In this world, you never know who’s telling the truth.”
This has been terrific. Let's talk with Andrea for a moment. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I grew up on a diet of television westerns, but the one that stands out the most to me is The Virginian; I loved the book by Owen Wister, upon which the television series was based, and always dreamt of getting to Wyoming and being a cowgirl. I imagine I’ve transferred that dream and that love to my writing now.
Isn't that a blast from the past. The Virginian. Takes us back. What real thing or event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? The event that originally sparked the idea for the book, and became the setting, was my visit to the Cunningham Cabin in Grand Teton National Park. You stand there in this desolate spot with broad prairie meeting the base of the mountains, and not a lot else, and you just wonder what it must have been like to live there in the 1800s without all our modern conveniences and communications. It had to make for a certain kind of hero, someone who would live that way, but knew he had to deal with his loneliness.
Awesome response. Would you do that—use a real place or event—in your next story? Places I visit always impact in some way upon the stories I write; I think it’s unavoidable as an author.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? The Wild Rose Press has won the Preditors and Editors Best Publisher for, I think, 6 years running now, so it’s difficult not to have heard of them. They were the first small publisher I considered, and I feel lucky they’ve taken me on.
Tell us about the submission process ie how long from date of query to date of release. There are clear instructions on the web site for submitting but now I just submit directly to my editor. Query to release times vary depending on the material, book length, time of year etc. Dearest Darling came out pretty quick; my next book, Dances of the Heart has been a helluva lot longer, but that’s a full length novel.
What project[s] are you working on now? Ssshhhhh…I’m very secretive about that sort of thing but let me say it takes place in two different times.
What's up next for you? As I write this, I’m out in Wyoming and will be heading back to NYC for the winter in a few days. But wherever I am, I’m trying to fill those blank white pages!
Ladies, thanks so much for having the two of us here today. I believe Emily needs to get back to the ranch…
Andrea, and Emily, thank you so much for spending time with us this week. It's been a pleasure!
Kat and Veronica

to learn more about Andrea Downing and to purchase her book[s], go to:


19 comments:

  1. Howdy Y'all Just stopped in from the ranch to say thanks once more for having me here today. I really did enjoy it and will look forward to hearing what some of you out there have to say.

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  2. loved the interview. from the thought of down and out and here come tickets from God for love and adventure, nice concept.

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    1. Glad you liked the idea of Andrea's story--but it really did happen to me!
      thanks for stopping by,
      Emily

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  3. Hi ladies,
    Great interview. I love learning about other authors in the Love Letters series. Andrea, hope you have great sales.

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    1. Thanks Katherine! I'll look out for your title, too.

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  4. Great interview! Wonderful premise--the purloined letter? Best of luck with your compelling work.

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    1. Thanks Susan. "Purloined" is a great way of putting it, while I fear Daniel Saunders, the hero, might just say stolen!

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  5. Great interview. I have this on my wish list at Amazon! Mail Order Brides are my favorite genre. Dearest Darling sounds like a perfect read for me.

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    1. Well Kathy I hope it moves up the list quickly and you get to read it soon. Would like to know what you think!

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  6. Great interview! Oh my, did you bring up fond memories when you mentioned The Virginian! Loved that series. All the best with Dearest Darling. :)

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    1. Yup, my absolutely favorite, Mary. LOVED James Drury--I understand he's still knocking about somewhere down in TX and makes appearances every now and then too.

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  7. What a neat interview! I so enjoy the concept of the Love Letter series, Andrea. Your thoughts about how an area must have looked to settlers struck a chord with me.I've done the same in my part of the country--the Midwest. I think one thing that really has remained with me is standing at the beginning of the Missouri jump off to the Western trails in Independence. You can still see the faint depression in the land when the wheels of pioneers' wagons moved out on the long, dangerous treks. Long ridges of earth dug out by countless wagons remain as testaments to hope, optimism, and perhaps desperation. Your book is on my TBR list and waiting for me on the Kindle! Good luck with it.

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    1. That is so fascinating, Barb--I'd love to get to Independence and see that one day. I was once up at a ranch near Bend, Oregon, and on the hilll you could still see the ruts from the wagon wheels--I think they told us it was from a stagecoach that used to take the path but I did wonder if that was from the prairie schooners.

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  8. Emily Darling is a wonderful character. It had to take strength of character to take a gamble on using those tickets! Thanks for the interview!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much for saying that, Jana--Emily is back at the ranch now but I'm sure she'll be very very glad to read that. And I certainly enjoyed creating her.

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  9. I really enjoyed the interview. Can't wait to read it!

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  10. Love letters can play vital roles in our stories in many different ways. I like your twist on this. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    1. You're very welcome, MJ. Thanks for stopping by!

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